You wake up in the morning and hit the ground running. Many times this sets the course for the entire day. People leave for work exhausted and clock out stressed rushing to the next sporting event or extra-curricular activity before they grab a dollar burger for everyone at 9 p.m. and come home to fall asleep and start over. Somewhere in between this we are paying bills, grocery shopping and trying to clean house.
Society it seems is on fast forward and people are juggling so many obligations, we are a nation on autopilot. How many times have you zoned out on the way home not even remembering the drive? Unfortunately our children are paying the price. In 2018 there were 52 children lost in the United States and in the last week we have had three in Texas.
People ask, how do you forget your child? It only takes one simple change in routine for tragedy to strike. A father who is not used to driving the child to day care, goes into autopilot on the way to work, he takes a right turn to work, instead of a left to daycare. One wrong turn could cost this family their precious cargo. It is brain function.
In 1998 the National Highway Safety Administration required all new vehicles to be built with dual front airbags, which moved kids and their car seats to the back. Some would say out of sight out of mind. Since 1998 Texas has led the country with the most hot car deaths with 114.
According to noheatstroke.org, there are three primary circumstances where children are left in the car, 54 percent are the caregiver forgetting, 26 percent where the child unknowingly gained access to the vehicle, and 19 percent where someone knowingly left the child in the vehicle.
So the next question is, what can we do to help avoid tragedy? Vehicle manufacturers are now starting to include child safety technology. General Motors has a new system that chimes and sends alerts to the dashboard if the back door was opened within ten minutes of starting the car. There are smartphone apps such as Baby on Board. Some Evenflow car seats have a sensor attached to the chest clip of the car seat which will sync with your car, sounding a chime to remind you of your precious cargo.
One of the easiest things parents can do is place their cell phone, purse, shoe or any item you know you will remember, in the backseat with your child, or even pets. Even though it is appalling to think someone would remember their cell phone over their child, this is a very realistic strategy to avoid tragedy.